Wimp Out and Grill Inside
Here's a word of caution right out of the gate: Never move the outdoor grill into the house. Don't try going under a tent, either. The heat and open flames are fire hazards. Fire prevention and consumer safety organizations say burning grills should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from any flammable structures.
Charcoal grills and hibachis pose the added hazard of poisoning by carbon monoxide (CO), a gas that's colorless, odorless -- and potentially deadly. Every year in the United States, about 30 people die and 100 more are injured by CO fumes from indoor charcoal grilling [source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission].
But grills made for indoor use can produce tasty food safely. Many people swear by electric countertop grilling machines. They cook quickly and drain away fat. Marinades and rubs can enhance the flavor of the food. Starting these grills is a snap and it's easy to regulate the temperature.
If you have a fireplace and wood, try a fireplace grill, also known as a Tuscan grill. These consist of a metal frame with an adjustable grilling grate. You can improvise one by removing the grilling surface from an outdoor grill and setting it on bricks inside the fireplace, over the coals [source: Rombauer].
However, if you're determined to cook outdoors, read on for tips about making roughing it not quite so rough.